TORONTO (Ontario) December 6, 2005 — Consumers are the real winners with the 2006 AJAC Canadian Car of the Year (CCOTY) awards that were announced today. The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) revealed ten Car of the Year category winners during a press conference at the Hilton Suites Hotel in Markham, Ontario.
The vote results, and comparative new vehicle data derived from the journalists’ annual four-day “TestFest”, are posted to the AJAC web site, www.ajac.ca, for use by consumers as a resource buying guide.
2006 CCOTY president, Paul Williams, commented: “New car buyers are powerfully influenced by whether a car has won a Canadian Car of the Year award. In fact, our latest survey of the 2004 Canadian Car of the Year buyers confirmed an influence of 58.4%*”.
Williams added, “In my opinion, the AJAC Canadian Car of the Year awards are based on the most objective, informed and thorough evaluation process you’ll find. The evaluations are based on back-to-back testing in real-world situations. They’re a uniquely Canadian resource for people looking to buy a new vehicle”.
Mike Stevulak (Pacific Mazda, Victoria BC) has this to say: “The AJAC Awards are getting some brand recognition now. Consumers perceive them as Canadian and as independent, and that gives the product extra cachet… No question it’s a traffic builder”. (c.f. Are You Cashing in on the AJAC Awards?, by Mary Hughes Canadian Auto World, April 2005)
The 2006 category winners are:
Best New Economy Car: Winner: Honda Civic Sedan
Best New Family Car (under $35,000): Winner: Hyundai Sonata GLS
Best New Family Car (over $35,000): Winner: Hyundai Azera
Best New Luxury / Prestige Car: Winner: BMW 5 Series Touring
Best New Sports Sedan: Winner: BMW 3 Series
Best New Sport Car: Winner: Honda Civic Si Coupe
Best New Sport Utility Vehicle: Winner: Mercedes-Benz M-Class
Best New Pick-up: Winner: Honda Ridgeline
Best New Multipurpose Family Vehicle: Winner: Mazda5
Best New Modern Muscle Car: Winner: Dodge Magnum SRT8
In addition, AJAC created, and handed out at the press conference, a brand new award for a “truly exceptional vehicle that sets new standards”. AJAC President Richard Russell observed that, “Every once in a long while
a vehicle comes along that stirs the hearts and minds of automobile enthusiasts. Often it stands apart from the pack and in some cases has no competition at all, let alone in a category created for the annual AJAC award”. AJAC director Gerry Malloy added that, “There was just such a vehicle this year, one that most of us cannot afford but would put at the top of our list, if we won the lottery”. The inaugural AJAC Most Coveted Vehicle Award went to the 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06.
The overall Canadian Car and Truck of the Year will be announced on February 15th, 2006 in conjunction with the official opening of the 2006 Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, Ontario. The Best New Design and Best New Technology winners will also be declared at that time. The 2006 Best New Alternative Power vehicle will be announced on January 19, 2006 at the Montreal International Auto Show.
And there’s more… our AJAC journalists who evaluated the brand new models at TestFest are available across Canada for interviews to talk about the vote results and comparative data. Media are invited to visit the AJAC web site and log-in under “Ask The Experts”, then choose the “Car of the Year” link for interviews once they’ve been validated.
Photos from the TestFest evaluation program, plus the press conference are also available for print and broadcast media under the “Ask The Experts” link on the AJAC web site.
Still looking to buy a 2005 new car? AJAC archives the comparative test data and vote results from previous years on its web site.